Organizational development and hierarchy: In 2 X 9 steps fit for the digital economy

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With old organizational structures one does not go far, because they can not keep up with the pace of the digital economy. Here comes the orbit model on the plan. It propagates the transition from a pyramidal to a circular organization. "This is the corporate model of the future," says the business magazine Capital.

The orbit model by Anne M. Schüller and Alex T. Steffen

Here writes for you:


Anne M. Schüller's Profile anne-m-schueller_portrait-mit-hutAnne M. Schüller is a management thinker, keynote speaker, business coach and multiple award-winning bestselling author. She has repeatedly been named Top Voice by the business network LinkedIn.


From the author:






Classic top-down formations will have no chance in the future

The rules of our working world were created in the era of industrialization. That's where they belonged and did a good job. Because then it was about controlling and stabilizing. In the digital economy of today and tomorrow, on the other hand, high speed, adaptability and constant innovation are needed. But this is not possible in a digested, silo-based organizational environment.

In the "wild water" of an increasingly unpredictable future, companies cannot survive according to the old pattern. And with a little agilization, you can only cure symptoms. Better to go to the root of the problem and take care of the overall constitution. Classic top-down formations don't stand a chance against the lively network organisms of young companies.

Clearly, new work playgrounds are being released almost everywhere in the company. But most of it only happens at certain points. In addition, the procedure is usually limited to the employee side, the workplace design and new work tools. On the other hand, nothing changes at the organizational base structures. The leadership itself is still hierarchical. So the effect remains low as a whole.

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9 action fields that companies need to play

For the "Next Economy", in which human and artificial intelligences connect, a "Next Organization" is needed. It is not only characterized by a high degree of digitization and a culture of constant change, but also by collaboration and value networks. For this purpose we developed the orbit model.

It propagates the transition from a pyramidal to a circular, ever-evolving dynamic organization. It enables the rapid transition to a company that can adapt adaptively and anticipatively to the needs of our high-speed future. His nine action fields are these:

  1. the field of action Purpose
  2. the action field customer
  3. the field of action of the customer-focused bridge builder
  4. the field of action of the employees
  5. the field of action of the employee-focused bridge builders
  6. the field of action of the executives
  7. the field of action of the partner organizations
  8. the field of action of the recommenders and influencers as bridge builders
  9. the field of action of the management

These nine fields of action encompass all essential aspects of organizational development for today and tomorrow. They are described in detail in “The Orbit Organization”.

For which companies is the orbit model suitable? 5 types at a glance

To tackle the departure in concrete terms, four situations are conceivable:

  1. You are a smaller or medium sized company that has been operating in the market for a long time: Perfect! For SMEs, much of what is possible in the orbit model can be implemented very quickly. Make a fundamental decision! Break with your old organizational model and the old mindsets behind it. Start with a new thinking and a new action. But do not copy. Do your own thing.
  2. You are a big company: Start something new at the edge of your organization! Set up the first units there, which not only look for disruptive innovations, but also play according to new organizational rules. Above all, resist the attempt to draw a classical organizational chart first. But people need to know where they are "hung up" (!) And to whom they report? You do not get anything from suspended employees!
  3. You are a group: In principle, the same applies here as under point two. Be aware: constant reporting just stops doing the best for the customers. For this to happen, non-hierarchical work is essential. So crowd the people around the customers in a circle. In a circle, there is no top and bottom.
  4. You are a manager or employee in an established organization and do not believe that the big change will take place there: Do not wait! Change begins with every single brave person who attacks them. Those who do not show courage to change themselves can not take away the fear of something new. So start low-threshold. Search specifically for quick wins, that is, fast successes that encounter no resistance and can be implemented with little effort. Then make sure that the happy customer in the company spreads to the last corner. Soon you will find fellow combatants who want to do it the way you do and no longer the way they used to.
  5. You are a young company that wants to grow up and / or want to partner with traditional organizations: Start right from the beginning! And not only with a scalable business model, but also with the matching orgastructure. It also helps you understand why traditional organizations act the way they do. It also helps you understand what you might need to do to make fruitful collaboration a reality.

4 Essential expertise to make the implementation work

In a dynamic system, an organization is constantly renewing itself. Change is becoming an ongoing task. For permanent provisionality is the new norm. So, in transformation times, the experiment mode is always on. Progress can not be prevented from progressing. And his pace is high. The most important qualities of an organization and its employees are therefore:

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  1. digital expertise,
  2. emotional intelligence,
  3. Acceleration force and
  4. Adaptation skills.

Check if your company is already set up accordingly. And if not, then get expert advice!

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